Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to survive Mercury retrograde

If you follow astrology -- and even if you don’t -- we’re in a period of Mercury retrograde. This means the planet Mercury appears to be moving “backwards.” It usually happens about three times a year. This one runs 01/11/09 - 01/31/09.

Mercury rules communication and commerce. These retros are often associated with mechanical and electronic failures, travel snafus, and miscommunications (like accidentally sending a confidential email to the wrong person or having the computer eat the email so it never arrives at all.)

Mine got off to a roaring start this time. The washing machine died and my vehicle started making strange noises. (I can only hope the bookmarks I sent to Australia for an upcoming reader/writer conference are actually on their way there instead of someplace else like, say, Timbuktu.)

What to do? Check these DOs and DON’Ts so you can sail right through retro without having a stress meltdown and even take advantage of its benefits.

-Buy any electronic or expensive item unless you’re replacing a broken one. You’ll probably end up returning it because it’s a lemon or some other reason.
-Sign any important contracts. There might be trouble or information that changes everything later.
-Fire off correspondence in the heat of the moment.
-Assume everything will “work out.”

Be aware that the “bookend dates”, beginning and ending of retro, are when Merc is at its craziest, so especially don’t do the DON’Ts on those days. In fact, if you want to be really technical about it, wait until Mercury makes up its degrees (gets back to where it was in the sky when it turned retrograde). If you’re really into this, buy yourself a handy-dandy ephemeris to see what all the planets are doing.

-Check and double check the details, especially if you’re traveling.
-Schedule extra time to deal with unexpected messes.
-Communicate clearly to avoid misinterpretations.
-Computer backups and preventive maintenance for everything else.

-Anything starting with RE:
-REvive an unfinished manuscript

Writers, this means you. It just so happens I’m polishing up a rough draft. Perfect timing! A bonus of retrograde is it’s a great time to catch up with an old friend, REflect on your goals, or just RElax. Do you have big plans? Use retro to plan your strategy and gather information. It’ll pay off later.

I hope by the time this retro is done my manuscript will be too and all the better for the RE- work I put into it.

Afton Locke

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